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The Peer Leader Academy (PLA) provides a foundation of professional development training and certification for peer leaders (tutors, mentors, undergraduate teaching assistants, etc.) who are employed in the College of Natural Sciences. Training involves the development of leadership and transferable skills that can be utilized in their current roles, in the classroom, and in their futures.  Peer Leaders serve in meaningful roles and are a vital component of creating community within the college.

Benefits: What will I gain through being a part of the Peer Leader Academy?

  • CNS PLA Certification
  • Eligible to earn certification through the SEED (Student Employee Excellence Development) program
  • Transferable Skills, Leadership Development, & interaction with UT Students, Staff and Faculty
  • Opportunity for valuable experiential learning

CNS PLA Certification

In order for CNS PLA student employees to earn their required CNS PLA certification they will need to complete a total of 6 workshops that are provided by the SEED program (The University Wide Student Employee Excellence Development Program).  The 6 workshops (one from Module 1 and at least one from each of the other modules – link to SEED Workshop Schedule below)should be completed within two long semesters of employment.  


Training Topics & Link to SEED Workshop Schedule

To earn credit for attending a SEED workshop, you must register through TX Class. You can view course listings under the “Professional Development – Student Employment” category, or link through the SEED Workshop Schedule, which includes a description of each course and its objectives. Enrollment is limited, so please register early.

The SEED workshops are being presented by experts and training specialists from across campus. Partners include:

  • College of Natural Sciences – Peer Leader Academy
  • Division of Recreational Sports
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology Services
  • Office of the Dean of Students – Leadership and Ethics Institute
  • Office of Emergency Preparedness
  • Office for Inclusion and Equity
  • Sanger Learning Center
  • Services for Students with Disabilities
  • Texas Interdisciplinary Plan
  • University Compliance Services
  • University Unions
  • UT Counseling and Mental Health Center
  • Vick Center for Strategic Advising and Career Counseling


Earning SEED Certification

CNS Peer Leaders are eligible to earn SEED certification by attending training provided by the Student Employee Excellence Development (SEED) program and student contact hours. The SEED Program is the University-wide professional development certification program (SEED website).

In order to attain Level I SEED certification, CNS Peer Leaders need to:

  • Attend at least six workshops: at least two from Module 1 and at least one from each of the other modules.
  • Submit to the Student Employment Coordinator a written reflection on what you learned in the workshops or from your employment with the university. Please see the Guidelines for SEED Reflections and Projects 
  • Attend a CNS PLA New Student Employee Kickoff Event (only for new student employees) in August or January.
  • Have worked 240 hours of employment in a student title at the university